Sweeney: Bruins, Pastrnak 'will find a deal at some point in time'


Sweeney: Bruins, Pastrnak 'will find a deal at some point in time'

BRIGHTON, Mass – The discussion level has kicked up between Bruins general manager Don Sweeney and JP Barry, agent for David Pastrnak, in recent days, but it doesn’t sound like the ball has moved much in one direction with a week to go until the opening of training camp.

The Bruins have made a couple of offers that came in at $6 million-per-year for a long-term deal. Barry submitted an offer to the Bruins at the end of last week for eight years that’s believed to have been for at least $8 million per. So, there’s a wide gap between the B’s and a key, 21-year-old restricted free agent who broke out for 34 goals and 70 points last season.

“Status quo there," Sweeney said at the start of rookie camp on Thursday morning. "JP and I continue to talk, and will continue to talk and find a deal at some point in time. But there’s no timetable on it and nothing really to expand on other than the nature of the talks have been ongoing.” 

Sweeney added that he still believes both sides are committed to keeping No. 88 in Boston for the long term. “There’s never really been any deviance from that standpoint, from the organization or from the player, or any indications otherwise. [We just need] to find a deal that works.”

Clearly, there’s still a chance that a shorter bridge deal becomes a possibility if the two sides just can’t agree on a long-term contract, but there are no indications that's a desired option for the player or team.

With the start of B’s rookie camp commencing, the urgency starts to go a little higher with NHL camp a week away and Pastrnak expected to be one of the big offensive catalysts on the B’s along with leading scorer Brad Marchand. The Bruins are still nearly two weeks out from the Sept. 18 preseason opener against the Montreal Canadiens in Quebec City. That will be when Pastrnak truly begins to fall behind his teammates if the two sides can’t hammer something out in the next 10 days. 

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"


Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.